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New standard for fire safer cigarettes soon to be introduced in EU

London Fire Brigade worked as part of the RIP coalition, organisations
EU countries have now agreed to set a new "fire safer standard" for all cigarettes sold in the union
Fires caused by smokers' materials are more likely than other domestic fires to cause death or serious injury.

In London it is estimated that around 40 per cent of all fatalities in accidental house fires are caused by smoking materials, while nationally this figure is a third.

Throughout 2007 the London Fire Brigade worked as part of the RIP coalition,(Reduced Ignition Propensity Cigarettes) - organisations which included other UK fire services, health and tobacco control groups, calling for the introduction of a fire safer standard which could prevent thousands of fires and hundreds of deaths across Europe every year.

European Union countries have now agreed to set a new "fire safer standard" for all cigarettes sold in the EU. The decision will now go to the European standards body, CEN, for a new standard to be developed.

The standard will require all cigarettes sold in EU countries to be 'reduced ignition propensity' cigarettes. This would mean that each cigarette has bands in the paper down its length, which cause it to go out if not puffed by the smoker.

The Brigade will continue to work as part of the RIP coalition to encourage the introduction of the standard in the UK and across the European Union without delay to prevent further avoidable fires, injuries and deaths.

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